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Sports Bar Marketing Strategies

Running a successful restaurant is so much more than opening a door and passing food through a kitchen to paying customers.

You’re probably always looking for an edge as a restaurant owner. Finding unique ways to drive profit and increase customer traffic can make the difference between breaking even and expanding your brand.

Have you ever thought of implementing sports bar marketing techniques at your restaurant? Maybe you’re asking, “but I don’t have a sports bar, so why should I keep reading?” You don’t always have to have wall-to-wall screens with every game on at your eatery to leverage sports bar marketing techniques. Check out these 5 ways you can employ sports bar promotion ideas to help drive traffic and cash your way.

1) Leverage happy hour and late nights into pre and post-game fun. Just because your restaurant isn’t the place to watch the game, doesn’t mean it can’t be an ideal spot. Not all sports bars have the best food or craft cocktails – run game day specials for before and after the game. Ride the wave of local teams and be consistent so customers know where to go after a night at the ballpark or before a playoff game.

2) Decorate your bar. Depending on your clientele, your bar is probably the most casual spot in the house. Adding some home-team colors and a few sports-themed cocktails to the menu to match the occasion is a way to embrace the sports bar theme without being a sports bar.

3) Ticket promotion. Embrace patrons who went to the game by showing them some savings. Have them bring in their ticket stub for a percentage off their bill. Your establishment might not be on their radar, but if they know they can save a few dollars on a post-game beverage or meal – then they just might take you up on it.

4) Maximize your patio. Patio drinks and sporting events go together like baseball and fresh-cut grass. Put out a corn hole set, set up a temporary bar and have promotional game-day signage visible so people know you’re the fun place to hang out during the game.

5) Kitchen takeover and/or bar takeover. Call a retired local sports hero and have them “host” an event. Better yet, have some of the proceeds dedicated to a local charity. You can have them bartend or serve customers meals – maybe even cook if applicable. This is a fun way to get sports fans in your door without showing the game.

With a little creativity, leveraging sporting events can help you grow profits, boost revenue, and drive foot traffic at your restaurant. Cheers!

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The opinions expressed herein by AmVenture.com columnists are their own, not those of AmVenture Insurance Agency, Inc., its subsidiaries, or affiliates.